HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. Coastal Carolina got 20 points and eight rebounds from Zac Cuthbertson, but it was not enough in a hard-fought 89-83 loss to undefeated Northern Kentucky.
The Chants trailed 61-60 with 10 minutes left, but the home team went on a 13-0 run to push the lead out to 74-60 with six minutes left.
CCU did not back down coming all the way back and cutting the lead down to four on two occasions, but could not get any closer.
CCU shot 52 percent from the field and hit nine of its 19 three-point field goals for 47 percent. The Chants were also much better at the free throw line tonight nailing 22-of-26 for 85 percent.
Tyrell Gumbs-Frater came off the bench to score 16 points on six-of-10 shooting and Amidou Bamba scored 10.
The Chants did a good job of sharing the basketball collecting 18 assists on its 26 made baskets. Cuthbertson led the way with five and Ebrima Dibba added four before going out right before halftime with an injury. He did not return to the game.
Cuthbertson scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half and for his efforts over the three-game tourney, was named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Chants had no answer for Drew McDonald, the preseason Horizon Player of the Year. The senior scored 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He had eight made baskets, but was able to get to the free throw line where he hit 14 of his 17 attempts.
Jalen Tate scored 16, Tyler Sharpe 15 and Dantez Walton added 11 for the Norse.
NKU did not shoot the ball as well as CCU, but did hit 45 percent of their field goals. They also hit 10 three-point field goals, and they were able to hit 29 of their 41 free throws.
The Norse took a 39-36 lead into halftime led by McDonald’s 14 points. NKU shot 37 percent from the field, but was able to knock down five three-point field goals and was able to get to the line in the opening 20 minutes making 12 of 18 free throws.
The Chants hung around with Bamba leading the way with nine points and Burton coming off the bench to add six. CCU shot 48 percent in the first half and hit three of their eight three-point field goals and were seven-of-10 at the charity stripe.